New Manchester United chief Sir Jim says 'journey back to the top of world football starts now'

  • Sports presenter Mike Hall talks to Lucy and Gamal about Sir Jim's plans.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe says Manchester United’s journey back to the top of world football starts now after completing his £1.3billion deal to become minority owner of the Premier League giants.

A year and three months after the club announced a strategic review, and 58 days after a deal was struck, there is finally a new power structure in place at Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe has completed his purchase of 25 per cent of the shares owned by the Glazer family, who have been United’s majority owners since their controversial leveraged buyout in 2005.

The Ineos chairman paid 33 US dollars (£26) for each of those shares and the same price for 25 per cent of Class A shares, with 10 times fewer voting rights, following a tender process.

Speaking in an interview for MUTV, the club's in-house television channel, he said: "It feels wonderful, you sort of have to pinch yourself, it's something I could have never contemplated when I was younger obviously so it is sort of a boyhood dream I suppose.

"They're not supposed to come true, but in this case it did.

"It's a very proud moment, I'm very honoured to be able to help take United forward."

Ratcliffe takes control of football operations as part of the deal and plans to ramp up United’s rebuild after his team looked under the hood and began to make moves during the ratification process.

“To become co-owner of Manchester United is a great honour and comes with great responsibility,” the British billionaire said.

“This marks the completion of the transaction, but just the beginning of our journey to take Manchester United back to the top of English, European and world football, with world-class facilities for our fans.

“Work to achieve those objectives will accelerate from today.”

Jim Ratcliffe describes the story of his love for United to his new ownership of the club in his interview with MUTV.

Faltering United have not added to their England record 20 league titles since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, winning just four major trophies in that period.

Many fans feel the Red Devils have lost their way under the Glazer family and Ratcliffe’s involvement brings new hope to Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe says their only aims are "winning football matches, competing for the Premier League and competing for the Champions League".

He said: "That is what Manchester United is about."

United co-chairman Joel Glazer said: “I would like to welcome Sir Jim as co-owner and look forward to working closely with him and Ineos Sport to deliver a bright future for Manchester United.”

Sir jim Ratcliffe takes control of football operations as part of the deal to buy a stake in the club. Credit: Press Association

Ratcliffe’s ownership of United stands at 27.7 per cent as further shares were issued in return for his initial 200m US dollars (£158.5m) capital investment upon completion.

His ownership will increase to 28.9 per cent when he invests a further 100million US dollars (£79.2m) by 31 December 2024.

The outlay from Trawlers Ltd, a company wholly owned by Ratcliffe, is worth a total of 1.65bn US dollars (£1.3bn).

That deal received Premier League and Football Association approval last week and was officially confirmed on Tuesday evening.

The 71-year-old, who was born in Failsworth, Greater Manchester, was a United fan growing up and has been a regular presence around the club since the deal was announced on Christmas Eve.

That included Ratcliffe attending United’s Premier League match against Tottenham on 14 January and the Munich air disaster memorial at Old Trafford on 6 February.

Sir Dave Brailsford, Ineos’ director of sport, has been an even greater presence and is set for a key role as Ineos takes control of football operations.

David Gill, vice-chairman of The Football Association (second left) and Sir Dave Brailsford, Director of Sport at INEOS (second right) Credit: Press Association

Changes have already started and United raised eyebrows across the football world last month when announcing Manchester City’s Omar Berrada as their new chief executive.

United are hoping to bring in Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth as part of their rebuild. The former Football Association technical director has been placed on garden leave after telling the Magpies he was leaving.

Sir Ratcliffe also has big hopes for Old Trafford.

"There are two key issues that we have to address. One is the football, performance on the field which is always going to be our priority," said Sir Ratcliffe.

"But the second one, the second big issue is where the stadium sits today. It's an impressive stadium, it's the second largest stadium in the country to Wembley but it's not quite of the standard you would expect of Manchester United today...we need to look at the way forward for the stadium, the redevelopment of that stadium.

"There are two roads we could take, we could refurbish the existing stadium or we could look at building a new stadium."

The completion of the deal marks the conclusion of a saga which began back in November 2022 when the Glazers announced plans for a strategic review, which could include the sale of the club.

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